Below is the second of 13 Novarica Research Council Impact Award nominee case studies that INN is presenting, in no particular order. The awards, which will be presented at the research and advisory firm’s October 30th event in New York, honor best practices in insurance industry IT initiatives and strategy.

Great American Insurance Group, nominated for a Practice award, wanted to create a competitive advantage and excellent customer experience by offering customer mobile applications to deliver self-service functionality.

Service-oriented architecture was a central design principle for integrating apps with core systems, which Great America began replacing with modern systems in 2006.

The development of the apps took less than five months from inception to roll out. The team was comprised of six IT employees and five business employees who participated in creating the requirements definition, demos, testing and decision-making. The claims steering and alignment committee, comprised of business and IT executives, approved mobile apps from a strategic standpoint and provided funding and oversight.

The chief technology challenge was ensuring that the mobile apps worked on the various mobile platforms without duplicating development efforts. Using agile methodology, users participated in requirements meetings, product demos, proof of concept, and business appetite and practical use meetings, and extensive user acceptance testing. On the IT side, additional teams were occasionally involved to investigate hardware and training.

With more than 1,200 initial and 2,200 update downloads, the applications have generated publicity and increased the company’s ability to compete. And, agents say they and their customers value the technology.

To see coverage of the other Novarica's Impact Award nominees, click here.

Check back Tuesday to find out how American Safety undertook an initiative to consolidate all underwriting units across the company into a single system.

About the awards: Novarica’s first annual Research Council Impact Awards honor best practices in insurance industry IT initiatives and strategy. Nominees were selected across four categories—Practice, Quick Hit, Transformation and Expansion—with three nominees chosen for each (a tie in the Expansion category meant four nominees were selected). The nominees were selected by a committee from a collection of case studies drafted by Novarica from submissions by insurers.

The nominating committee included CIOs Andy Wood (Wilton Re), Dan Simpson (Trustmark), Eric Bulis (SBLI USA), Larry Fortin (Millers Mutual Group), Mark Berthiaume (Chubb), Pete Moreau (Amica), Piyush Singh (Great American Insurance Company), Reuben Broadfoot (LifeMap), Sal Abano (Tower Insurance), Stuart Tainsky (PURE) and Tim Billow (ING).

Winners will be determined by votes from the more-than-300 members of the Novarica Research Council, a moderated knowledge-sharing community of insurer CIOs and senior IT executives.

The nominees and winners will be recognized at the Novarica Research Council Impact Awards Event in New York City now on November 14th. 

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